Document Type



Edgar M. Cullen Prize Paper (H. Hansmann, H. Gerken, D. Grewal) (Best paper by a 1st year student)


Initially, the crash was reported as just another tragic accident. In the pre-dawn hours on Boston’s Hyde Park Avenue, a Honda Civic drifted across the median and slammed into an oncoming car.[1] The drifting driver, a young man by the name of Patrick Fortuna, died.[2] The four occupants of the other vehicle were rushed to the hospital with serious injuries, a painful litany of bone fractures, cuts and concussions.[3] Police reports indicated that the deceased driver was at fault.[4] Given the roughly thirty-three thousand killed and 2.3 million injured on U.S. roads each year,[5] this collision—though undoubtedly horrific for those involved—ostensibly did not warrant more than a few sentences in the local police blotter. Hyde Park Avenue was reopened to traffic by sunrise.[6]

[1] Christopher J. Girard, 24-Year-Old Killed in Hyde Park Car Crash Early This Morning, (Feb. 5, 2012, 7:59 AM),

[2] Id.

[3] Id.; Ron Lieber, Fatal Collison Makes Car-Sharing Worries No Longer Theoretical, N.Y. Times, Apr. 13, 2012, at B1.

[4] Lieber, supra note 5.

[5] Nat’l Ctr. for Statistics and Analysis, Nat’l Highway Traffic Safety Admin., 2013 Motor Vehicle Crashes: Overview 1-2 (2014).

[6] Four Injured, One Killed in Early Morning Hyde Park Accident, (Feb. 5, 2012, 7:46 PM),; Girard, supra note 3.

Date of Authorship for this Version